By the Numbers: Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Henrique Costa

By Mark Raymundo Aug 16, 2019


The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 241 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Yoel Romero and Paulo Henrique Costa could be each other’s toughest test yet. One is looking to assert his dominance over a dangerous young contender and remain in the title picture, while the other is trying to prove his mettle against an exceptional veteran. As fists fly on Aug. 17 at UFC 241 in Anaheim, California, here are some of the pair’s career-defining numbers.

Age and overall experience

Romero is perhaps the fittest and most athletic 42-year-old there is in the world today. Despite being one of the most senior in the Ultimate Fighting Championship roster, the “Soldier of God” has proven that he can beat well-conditioned mixed martial arts fighters almost half his age. He most certainly believes Costa could be one of them. Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on April 21, 1991, Costa is now 28 years old, 14 years the junior of Romero, who was born on April 30, 1977.

In terms of MMA experience, however, there isn’t much that separates the two. Romero has a total of 16 professional fights, with a record of 13-3. He made his debut at an event called Fight of the Night 2009 held in Nuremberg, Germany, on Dec. 20. After only four bouts, he fought at Strikeforce and was signed by the UFC after, debuting on April 20, 2013 at UFC on Fox 7. Romero has been fighting in the Octagon ever since. He notably contended for the UFC interim middleweight championship once and could have captured the undisputed title on his second try had he not lost eligibility by missing weight.

Meanwhile, Costa stepped up the pro ranks on Feb. 25, 2012 at an event called MMA Total Combat: Santa Luzia, which took place in his native of Brazil. He fought a few more times in different Brazilian promotions, including Jungle Fight and won its middleweight championship. The man they call “Borrachinha” then made his Octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 106 on March 11, 2017. He remains undefeated not just in the UFC, but in his entire professional career with a 12-0 record.

Wins by stoppage

Costa has yet to hear the final bell. All 12 of his wins have come by stoppage, 11 of which were by knockout and one by submission. He has only had four UFC appearances, but he’s already faced and stopped top-quality opponents such as Uriah Hall and former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.

Romero is another proven finisher. Out of his 13 victories, only two have gone the distance. Costa may have a 100 percent finishing rate, but his resume doesn’t compare to that of Romero’s. The former Olympian from Cuba has stopped the likes of Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman, Lyoto Machida, Tim Kennedy and Derek Brunson.

First-round stoppage

Landing fight-ending punches is something Costa does very well. In fact, in his first nine professional bouts, none reached the second round. Only his last three fights have reached the second round. Romero, on the other hand, owns four wins by first-round stoppage as he tends to explode in the third round.

Career losses

As aforementioned, Costa has never lost a single fight while Romero has dropped three. Early in his career, the Cuban middleweight was knocked out by Rafael Cavalcante. His two other losses were close decisions opposite Robert Whittaker. Advertisement

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